A/N: PLEASE READ THIS NOTE, WOULD YOU KINDLY?
EDIT: Bah, trolls in the comments again! Don't they have anything better to do? T_T
*bangs head against desk* Not sure if anyone's gonna see this due to the glitches in the site atm, so here goes nothing.
Damnitall, someone had to point out that I hadn't written a true NarutoxSalem pairing yet...and blast it, they were right. I haven't done that yet. Not in the traditional sense of the word, at any rate. You know who you are. You know what you did! *grumbles incoherently* Putting bloody ideas in me head when I'm busy enough writing already!
So Lets go.
Also the site's gone bonkers again. Chapters are vanishing, stories aren't displaying properly, reviews aren't appearing -my friends and I have tested that thoroughly-and everything's just gone nuts in general. For instance, I can SEE your reviews, but they won't show up on site. But by all means, leave them and I'll try to respond when I can.
This seems to be a pervasive problem that occurs every few weeks or so; worse, it puts a huge damper on both those of us who read and write. So lets get the word out, shall we? Contact them via the Fiction Press twitter or the usual support email and hopefully, we'll have this fixed for good.
As ever, this'll be deleted in a day or so if folks don't like it. I've stuck with that rule for some time now.
On another note, shoving a Jinchuuriki off a cliff is never a good idea; least of all when someone like Jiraiya does it. Training he said. Bah! Looking back, anyone could see that was an absurdly stupid move. Not only would have been unable to reach Naruto in time if something went wrong, but there was a very real chance of disaster.
Now, I present...
Lies Are Entertainment. Yes, from the song "Don't Stop."
Kudos if you get this quote. Its an old favorite by the infamous TFS.
"For thousands of years I lay dormant!"
It seemed impossible for an immortal. She could not die. She could not be destroyed. She was eternal. Ever-lasting. Invincible. No matter how many times her body was ravaged or ripped asunder, she would return. Even if they cut her to pieces and burned the remains, she would return. She had no equal. The world was hers to conquer. And so she did. From Vale to Mistral, from Atlas to Vacuo. All fell before her. None could stand against her, none could hope to prevail. They could only fall.
Until they brought the relics together.
On the eve of her greatest triumph, a last desperate gamble by her enemies -by Ozpin and his little minions!- ruined everything.
She'd sought to gather those artifacts for her own purpose, but instead that purpose was turned against. A final spiteful act by an old lover.
Thus did the Brother Gods come down and judge them all, as they'd said they would. Of course they did. Everyone was found unworthy. Of course they were. How could one measure up to the standards of a god, let alone two? It simply wasn't possible. They wiped the world clean and began anew, once again, as they'd said they would.
But her...once again they denied her death. In their folly, they refused to kill her once more. They said her punishment must be more severe than the last. They reduced her to a mere shadow of her former self and buried her; buried her deep in the earth where none of her followers could reach her. There she would lay for all time, forgotten by all, little more than a faded memory.
And so she slept.
Waiting for the day she'd awaken once again.
For the day that life would return to the world once more.
"Nothing personal, kid."
Three words. A simple set of syllables.
"Whaddya mean, nothing personal?! You haven't done anything!"
There was nothing special about those words, no malice behind them, no hate nor ill intent to speak of, nothing that would suggest a surprise of any sort.
One moment a young Naruto Uzumaki had his feet firmly on the ground as he growled up at his mentor. In the next, Jiraiya stepped forward, placed a hand on his chest, and gave him a hard shove. It was so sudden that the boy couldn't help but cry out as he hurtled backward through the brush, and even that brief moment of panic cost him dearly. Unable to compensate in time -and thinking his mentors actions little more than a prank- the poor boy never registered the danger until it was too late.
By the time he realized he'd been had, he was already tumbling toward a cliff at breakneck speed.
A strange sense of weightlessness overtook him as he hurtled over the edge and soared into the open air. For a fleeting moment, a sliver of a second, gravity was denied and he hung there in the air. Fool boy that he was, Naruto chose that moment to look down.
Mistakes were made!
Rather than the open water he'd hoped for, a bottomless pit awaited him below rimmed with spikes, stretching on into endless blackness. By the log, he couldn't even see the bottom. It wasn't a ravine. It was a pit. He started into the abyss and to his horror, he felt something stare back at him within its depths. In that instant, he felt something brush against the back of his mind. It drank in his fear and terror like water from a broken sieve and gladly came back for more like a starving wretch at a feast.
"For thousands of years I lay dormant." A voice sweeter than sin itself purred, and in his mind's eye, he glimpsed white hair. "Who disturbs my slumber?! Who comes into my tomb, reeking of fear?!"
Naruto never had a chance to answer that question; because gravity sank its cruel claws into him at last and he fell with a yelp.
"No, no, no! Are you kidding me?!" Even the canyon swallowed his cry. "What the heeeeeeeeell?!"
Wind lashed at his face as plummeted to his demise. Blue eyes squinted against it as thin arms flailed frantically, searching for a handhold where none was to be found. Chakra coated hands slapped against slippery rocks to no avail; his momentum dragged him past, nearly wrenching his shoulders right out of their sockets for his troubles. His head cracked against one such outcropping as he fell and his vision went red. Was it just him, or had the walls gone black? They seemed almost...alive. Writhing and pulsing, as though the shadows themselves were reaching
He didn't want to die here.
"Then fight." the voice -a woman's voice!- came on again, harsh and angry. "Save yourself, if you can."
His fingers fumbled for a seal and failed spectacularly. Panic made his actions sloppy and the chakra slipped through his fingers. Something in the air swallowed it whole. Every bit of power he tried to muster was absorbed by the strange presence lurking below him. And all the while, the bottom of the ravine hurtled ever closer. In the distance, he thought he glimpsed a crack in the stone floor, a mighty fracture leaking strange tendrils of ink like shadow, jagged and sharp. Whatever they were, if he struck them at this speed...he really would die.
"Do you want to live?"
"Yes, please!" he snarled. "I'll do anything!"
"Very well." a faint note of amusement etched itself in his mind. "Then we have an accord."
Something latched onto the last of his chakra and wrapped around it, flooding his veins with ice. Then it pulled. Pulled hard.
Not a heartbeat later, Naruto Uzumaki struck the bottom of the ravine. He heard an awful crack and his world burned white...until the shadows swarmed in.
At the bottom of the chasm, deep within the bedrock, something stirred.
The shadows began to writhe, taking on shape and form.
Evil woke once again, stronger than ever before.
Blood red eyes flew open.
...why wasn't he dead?
Naruto knew he should be dead; if only because his head was on fire and he was fairly certain he'd cracked his skull. He knew he had landed. He'd definitely hit...something near the bottom there. It hadn't been nearly as hard nor jarring as he'd thought. There was no awful pop of bone breaking nor cartilage crushing. If anything it felt rather soft. Almost as if...
"Such a naughty child." that same, sensual voice crooned in his ear. "We'll have to work on that."
With a choking gasp the boy ripped his head free from the woman's bountiful bosom -definitely a woman!- and looked up. Up. Up again.
She was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. For someone who'd failed to so much as NOTICE the fairer sex until this moment, that was saying something.
Blue eyes squinted open to meet red eyes rimmed by black sclera gazing down at him. Hers was a pale face, skin ashen and gray, framed with red veins at her cheeks. Snow white hair cascaded down her back in a loose wave, trailing bits of black fabric, as though it had been bound back, and only recently freed. She looked...dirty, all things considered. Her dark robes were rumbled and her her face was smudged with mud and blood alike. What, had she been sleeping in a cave or something. Who did that?
She tilted her head and held him closer still, considering him in the faint light as they rose towards it.
"Hmm." she seemed to find what she was looking for in his eyes, for she released him and turned aside. "No Aura. And yet I sense something...more."
"The heck is Aura?" he muttered.
Those blood red eyes narrowed on him. "Tell me child, what year is it?"
Naruto told her and it must've meant something too, judging by the absolute silence that followed.
"Impossible." she muttered to herself, taking her thumb between her teeth. "I couldn't have slept that long. Just how long have I been asleep...?"
Belatedly, he realized that they were still ascending. Rapidly at that. When he strained his ears he heard the great whoosh of mighty wings carrying them aloft, bringing them closer and closer to daylight with each passing moment. This wasn't a toad. Toads didn't have wings. Even he knew that much. This wasn't a bird, either. Birds had feathers. Birds didn't get this big. Those were scales beneath his sandals. Scales steeped in shadow and rimmed with bits of white bone, but scales nonetheless. No way in hell he summoned something like this. Which meant...
He was riding on the head of an honest-to-goodness dragon. Just the thought of it made Naruto giddy; it should have terrified him. And it did. But that terror drowned in the relief of knowing that he was alive, that he'd be around to see another day, rather than a greasy red smear at the bottom of an abyss.
All at once they broke the chasm and reached daylight.
Jiraiya was waiting for them at the edge, gaping like a fish out of water. Whatever fear and dread he might have felt at the sight of the dragon vanished the moment he laid eyes on its mistress.
"Whoa mama!" He all but drooled, the nasty old lech. "Where did she come from?!"
She sniffed at him. "Somewhere far beyond your ken."
Naruto was having none of it. None. He had no way of knowing he'd been thrown down that chasm for his own good; he'd never been in an real danger, as he'd been meant to truly into the fox's power of his own will and bring some semblance of it under his control. Once again, he couldn't have possibly known that.
Thus, one could forgive him for being just a liiittle angry with his mentor.
"What the hell, old man?! Why'd you throw me down there?! You nearly killed me!"
"Wait a second!" the old sage flung his hands up as the boy's fury continued to mount before him. "I can explain-
"Can you, now?" Naruto's savior interjected with a malevolent smile. "I think not. What's the saying you humans use? Ah, yes. Turnabout is fair play."
She didn't make any hand-signs; they simply weren't needed. A mere flick of her wrist summoned a great; one that crashed into the old sage with no remorse and ripped him from his feet. Jiraiya went hurtling down into the ravine with a surprisingly shrill shriek. He would survive the fall. His ego would not. Naruto didn't care one bit for his fate right now. His mind was occupied with...other matters.
"Who the hell are you?" he asked.
"I go by many names. Destroyer. Traitor. Usurper. Mother of Grimm. But you?" the woman smiled as she turned face him and it was a frightful thing indeed. "You may call me Salem." once more the she -this absolute beauty!- flicked her fingers, and at some unspoken command, the great dragon knelt, allowing them to disembark.
"You who have released me...what is your name?"
...Naruto?" it came out sounding like a question.
She did not bow to him. She did not bend the knee. Why should she? Even as she thanked him her words dripped with gentle scorn, as though she disdained the world itself.
"Very well, then. Tell me, Naruto," then she leaned forward and he found himself distracted by...other things. "What is your desire? You released me, so you surely came seeking something." her hand touched his cheek. "What is it you seek?"
Naruto's throat went dry. He couldn't tell her it was an accident. She'd kill him.
In hindsight he could have asked Salem for any number of things that day, and she likely would have granted him them in some form or another. He could've asked for wealth. Fame. Power. The word of an immortal -even one as warped and twisted as she- wasn't given lightly. Ironically, only five words came to mind. Some would say those words saved the world. Others claimed they ruined everything. Scholars would debate what he'd said for centuries. Looking back, he probably should've phrased his request a bit better, but he was a bit preoccupied by the literal manifestation of death and darkness looming over him.
...could you stay?" he croaked out and immediately flushed. "Erm...! I mean, I need somebody to train me, and you kinda threw my teacher down a ravine...
Salem reared back on her heels and blinked at him. Once. Twice. Thrice. "Excuse me?"
She could have told him Jiraiya was alive and well. Instead she chuckled.
It began as a soft, yet rusty note of confusion, little more than a disbelieving giggle. Almost as if she'd forgotten how to laugh or what it sounded like. That was silly. Everyone knew how to laugh. Didn't they? As he looked on, Salem physically shuddered, her shoulders convulsing with barely contained mirth. He half-expected her to burst out into a maddened cackle, to simply throw back her head and shriek at the skies. It never came. She simply clamped a hand around her mouth and laughed again, louder this time, yet softer all the same.
"My, aren't you a greedy one? Of all things you would ask, to think it would be ME you requested..."
Shaking her head, she wiped a single black tear from the corner of an eye.
...how very bold of you." she purred. "I think I'll keep you."
In that moment, Naruto's fate was truly sealed.
For better or worse...who could say?
Congrats. Good job, Naruto. You just unleashed a creature of pure evil...or did you?
As ever, a young Naruto is still very much a Dense Naruto, but not for long. Not with Salem around. Not a chance in hell.
Duck and cover! Salem's here and she brought a Grimm dragon with her~! Pairing is clearly up in the air, but I'm obviously leaning toward NarutoxSalem. Not yet, of course. This is a sharp turn from my other RWBY stories; those usually have Naruto running around the world of Remnant. But here? Here we have the Mother of Grimm herself, released to wreak havoc. And dear oh dear, she's gone and formed a contract with Naruto. That's dangerous enough by itself.
Now, before you ask:
We all know Salem is absurdly powerful and of course, immortal. But even here she's at more of a disadvantage than one might think. Yes, she can field an army. Yes, she can summon Grimm over and over. Yes, she can't be killed. But as we all know by now, seals and illusions are a thing in Naruto's words. Itachi, for instance, would be an absolute nightmare for her. She'll need to be careful going forward. Very careful. Even with someone like Salem backing Naruto up...well. Our boy's gonna have a rough time of things.
Soooooooo In the Immortal Words of Atlas...
...Review, Would You Kindly? It Keeps A Man Alive...
And of course, here are some previews for your care and time~!
Once again, this will be gone in two days if you don't like it, so by all means let me know!
References are references as always!
Salem tilted her head and her body rippled anew; in a flash, Naruto found himself eye level with a girl nearly his own age. Huh. Tiny Salem was actually pretty cute-NO! Focus!
"Stop changing back and forth like that! Make up your mind!"
"Is this form not pleasing to you?
"Cease your complaining. You asked to be trained, and thus, you will be trained the only away I know how. With overwhelming force" her voice cracked at him like a whip as he ducked under a claw. "If you want power, then claim it. If you want recognition, seek it. If you desire me, well." Her smile turned coy. "Then you must surpass me. Surely you can do so. You were the one to release me, after all. I expect you to excel in these so-called "Chunin Exams" of yours. I will accept nothing less than victory."
"S' not fair." her charge groaned as he toppled back into the dirt. "You're immortal. How do I beat that?!"
"My dear boy." a tendril of shadow plucked him upright and set him standing again. "Immortality means nothing in the face of cunning. I have been beaten before." those blood red eyes took on a decidedly flinty expression." I can be trapped. I can be tricked, just as anyone else. I am not infallible. Now come here. I shall grant you a measure of my power. Use it well."
EDIT: That can't be good.